1) Wonderful Food and Restaurants
2) The French Quarter and Street Bands
3) The Garden District
4) Shopping, Books, and Miscellaneous
5) People and Animals
While in New Orleans, Mark and I visited three bookstores. If you've followed my earlier posts, I'm sure you are getting the sense that I really loved New Orleans. It surprised me in so many ways; and of course for me a perfect vacation always includes books. When I visit a new-to-me place, I must find the perfect books to enrich the traveling experience.
Crescent City Books (where I practically tripped and fell into the glass-windowed door): We didn't buy anything in this shop, but it's a nice store located in the French Quarter, not far from the Marriott where we were staying (see sign at left).
Beckham's Bookshop: Located at 228 Decatur Street, don't be put off by the unassuming storefront (see photo above). With not only a wonderful collection of new and used books, the proprietors entered into a discussion with us on Trotsky (when they learned Mark had written The Prophet of Sorrow.) In this wonderful shop, I purchased Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City by Jed Horne. Here's Beckham's Facebook page so you can like them too.I've nearly finished The House on First Street and was so happy to find that I'd taken a photo of what I believe may be Ms. Reed's home. I had noticed the beautiful flourishes at the top of the columns, Corinthian, Mark told me and I remembered the lesson on architecture from my Art History class. (I knew the house next to it had Doric columns, but couldn't remember the word "Corinthian," isn't that often the case in marriage, what one can't name, the other can?) Anyway, here's my photo:
Garden District Bookshop is a well-organized shop located in The Rink in the Garden District on Prytania Street. I purchased New Orleans: A City Named Desire, by Todd and April Fell (I wanted a book with text and cool photos, like the "Eyewitness Books" series, and this filled the bill. Also in my shopping bag: Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table by Sara Roahen and The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story by Julia Reed.
New Orleans Marriott Gift Shop: I bought two books here: My New Orleans: Ballads to the Big Easy by Her Sons, Daughters, and Lovers edited by Rosemary James and a wonderful book in a "half-price basket," Mardis Gras Treasures: Invitations of the Golden Age by Henri Schindler.
New Orleans is a great place to shop for clothes, accessories, gifts, art and antiques. Here are places we loved:
Cajun Clothing Co. 600 Decatur St.—The day I met my husband he was wearing a purple and yellow long-sleeved shirt from Cajun Clothing Co. by Perils, so when we went into the store and saw a big table stacked with these same neatly folded shirts, I knew we were in the right place. Mark picked up a few more shirts and received a compliment on the shirt (I think by a guy in an elevator) the next day when he wore it. I bought a T-shirt that is that wonderful cotton that is just perfect, as well as a man's Hawaiian shirt that I couldn't pass up. Best of all, I bought a pair of Douglas Paquette flip-flops, which SAVED my aching feet the rest of the day.
There are many antique shops on Royal Street. We also bought pralines (my first and now I'm hooked...this is like the grown-up version of my fascination with maple-leaf candy sold at Shoney's).
At The Little Toy Shop, 900 Decatur St., I purchased 8 toy horses. Why? Because I am illustrating a children's book and the horses are stumping me... how do their legs go? Where are their muscles? These little equines inspire me.
We also found a lovely shop near the Louisiana State Museum that specialized in tabasco (I believe it was the Tabasco Country Store), and while Mark picked up some T-shirts, I chose a beautiful runner for our dining room table that would match my favorite botanical place mats that he'd given me a while ago.
This morning, back home in Ohio, I picked some lovely lilacs and their aroma is filling the house. Bryce has just been picked up by a transportation helper to return home after a fun time together and a trip to the audiologist. Good news: the hearing aid we thought was broken is not, and with a new ear mold his left ear (always "left" out of everything) should soon be hearing conversation again.
Mark's previous two visits to New Orleans and his great memory brought a smile to my face when he mentioned a yarn store he recalled passing on his visit in 2007 (see what I mean about a great memory; he didn't even go in the store). So, yes, The Quarter Stitch, was right where he remembered it off Jackson Square and I purchased 2 lovely skeins of lavender yarn to make, you guessed it, a scarf!
The yarn was lovingly wrapped in coordinating tissue paper, then placed in a plastic bag with handmade business cards, then the bag affixed with ribbon, then the ribbon curled with scissors. High wow factor!
Stay tuned for later in the year when I actually complete the project! And, let me just say the colors of this yarn are so beautiful... this store will definitely be a regular stop on my future New Orleans visits.
New Orleans was a wonderful place to shop with a variety of items in a variety of price ranges. Many of the stores are unique, others are, for lack of a better phrase, the best. In other words, the toy store was a wonderful, traditional toy store very much like the one Mark and I visited in Sarasota, Florida in December. The products stocked were very similar. The yarn store was stocked with the best yarn a knitter/crocheter can hope to find. The bookstores are great too. The quality of each store to have the best in its category was so high, and I can't imagine anyone who loves to shop being disappointed at the selection of stores and products in New Orleans.
There were several photos that don't fit into the categories I choose to blog about. So, I'm putting them here; though the one at left would fit under shopping, I suppose. It's of a storefront window and I was drawn in to so many of the beautiful shop windows on our trip.
Above, is a bathroom tile. Guess where it is from? Emeril's restaurant! Below is a photo of the dormer and chimney of Jean Lefitte's place.
Below, you can see three photos I took from the plane. The first is using the "fisheye" option in my new travel camera, a Cannon.
Here is a photo of the Mississippi River, from our hotel room.
The photo below shows the canopy of branches and leaves, the natural shade covering within the courtyard of The Court of Two Sisters. The restaurant has many umbrellas in the courtyard, but at the entry, these beautiful plants provide shade.
Below, you can see Ann Rice's house in the Garden District. I should have put it in the previous post, but wanted it in this, the book section.
These red chandeliers greeted me each morning in the lobby of the New Orleans Marriott on Canal St.
Lastly, here is a hopeful sign, I think. A new store for me to visit on our next trip, perhaps?